Very few Bruins can say that they've churned out the number of highlights that Patrice Bergeron has orchestrated over 16 seasons in Boston.
Well, on the ice, at least.
For as dynamic as Patrice Bergeron is when taking to the TD Garden sheet, the Bruins' star center is much more willing to let a few of his more outspoken teammates provide the postgame soundbites following games — while declining any forms of social media.
And yet, while the 34-year-old pivot has gained a reputation for being a soft-spoken star in today's NHL, Bergeron announced on Wednesday afternoon that he could not remain silent any longer in wake of George Floyd's death last Monday in Minneapolis.
While Bergeron is one of many NHLers who have recently used their elevated profiles to speak out about Floyd's death, the Quebec native was one of the few to take legitimate action beyond a statement — announcing $25,000 donations to both the Boston branch of the NAACP and the Centre Multiethnique de Quebec.
Here's the full statement:
“As many of you know, I don’t have social media. Right or wrong I’ve often tried to stay away from making my opinions public. As hockey players, we have a tendency to do our business while staying quiet, without wanting to make too much noise. It is in our culture. But surrounding the murder of George Floyd and the protests that followed, it made me realize that by not speaking up on the matter, and not using my voice as a professional athlete, it’s in fact allowing racism to fester and continue. Silence is not an option for me anymore.
“I realize that I will never truly understand the fear, pain and suffering the Black community has endured. As a white man I have always tried to live by respect and equality, but I also acknowledge my privileges. I am disappointed in myself that it took this long for me to truly open my eyes. Seeing all this pain truly breaks my heart and forces me to seek answers.
“Today and going forward I want to listen, educate myself and stand up for the Black community. We cannot change the past, but we certainly can change the future. It is time to truly acknowledge this cry for help. It needs to be more than a simple Instagram post. Let’s take real actions. With an open heart and compassion, I am determined to be an ally, continue to grow myself, and raise my children to be anti-racist.
“In addition to my words, my family and I are donating $25,000 to the Boston branch of the NAACP and $25,000 to Centre Multiethnique de Quebec.
“I will not be quiet anymore.
“With love, respect and the most sincere humility, Patrice Bergeron"
Bergeron's statement comes a day after the Bruins released their own statement (as seen above) on Tuesday morning — while members of the Boston Celtics were active in protests last weekend in both Atlanta and Boston.